Western Kentucky University

Rebecca Karr

Rebecca Karr 

internship stories Rebecca Karr

 

Records Management Intern for National Park Service, 2009

For my internship, I worked at the Southeast Regional Office of the National Park Service as a Records Management Intern.  My position was funded by a grant from the National Council of Preservation Education.  I was hired to complete one major project – to create a cohesive and maintainable management system for the Cultural Resource Divisions' lapsed records.  The scope of the project was huge - my initial materials inventory was 75 boxes of material, or approximately 120,000 sheets of paper.  

I had been given general guidelines for the kind of system the office required – easy to understand and fitting within an existing color coded system (with the option of new added colors if I noticed that the material warranted such an addition).  I also added an additional component to my finished product, an inventory spreadsheet.  At the end of my ten weeks, I completed my phase of the Central Files, with over 3,300 total files, a 150 page spreadsheet outlining the contents of the files, a working user's guide for the system, and a plan for a second phase for the next intern.  I finished my phase ahead of my own schedule, so I was also able to complete a mailing project to return appropriate materials to their homes in their respective parks.

My ten weeks were not only spent in the office though.  I was also given the opportunity to attend professional workshops sponsored by NPS, meet the Secretary of the Interior when he came to the office, and participate in an Archives Assessment at Cumberland Island National Seashore. This last opportunity was a definite highlight of my Park Service employment. On this two week visit, I learned about proper archival technique in respect to paper products and photographs.  I learned how to quickly assess the quality of a records collection, specifically how to perform "triage" on a budget.  I also became familiar with software used by the Park Service in Museum cataloging. 

 Last Modified 7/22/13